Category Archives: Missiles & Guided Weapons

SPIKE Missile

November 18, 2019 – Eurospike, a joint venture between Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., Diehl Defence GmbH & Rheinmetall Electronics GmbH has signed a multi-year framework contract for the supply of SPIKE (also known as Mehrrollenfähige Leichte Lenkflugkörpersystem – Multirole-capable Light Anti-tank Missile System, MELLS in Germany) Missiles & launchers to the German Army. The missiles and launchers will be manufactured in Germany by local German companies, in keeping with RAFAEL’s global policy of teaming up with domestic industry, resulting in knowledge transfer and local job creation.

German Army acquires 1500 SPIKE missiles and hundreds of launchers

The contract was signed by representatives from Eurospike and Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (BAAINBw) in a ceremony that took place at the beginning of November in the offices of the German MOD (BAAINBw) in Koblenz Germany.

As part of the framework contract, the first order was made for the supply of 1500 SPIKE rounds, as well as hundreds of RAFAEL’S new ICLU (Integrated Control Launch Unit) dismounted missile launchers.

The multi-year framework contract will allow the Bundeswehr to continue procuring additional SPIKE Missiles in the next few years to reach its goal of high launcher-to-missile ratio.

The German Army is already currently using both the dismounted portable SPIKE (MELLS) launcher as well the as the vehicle-mounted launcher on the German army Puma, Marder & Wiesel.

SPIKE is a cutting-edge precise, multi-platform, multi-mission and multi-range electro-optical missile Family, with capabilities of fire-and-forget, as well as fire, observe and update, allowing attack of hidden targets.

With 33 SPIKE missile users around the world, Germany is among 19 other SPIKE users in the EU and NATO. More than 30,000 SPIKE missiles have been supplied worldwide to-date, with over 5500 SPIKE missile firings, both in training and in combat.

Moshe Elazar, EVP, Head of RAFAEL’s Land and Naval Division: «This is a significant contract for Eurospike and thus for RAFAEL, as a leading supplier of 5th generation ATGM in the world. It will undoubtedly cement the German Army’s position as one of the strongest ATGM forces in Europe. The SPIKE missile and launcher cross-nation commonality enables the nations to manage joint SPIKE missile stocks, create joint procurement and maintain mutual support. In combination with local production within Europe by Eurospike, SPIKE is a truly common European missile».

Rafael’s SPIKE LR2 5th Gen tactical multipurpose, multi-platform missile is engaging a tank in high trajectory top attack

Peregrine missile

Raytheon Company is developing a new medium-range, air-launched weapon called the Peregrine missile that is half the size and cost of today’s air-to-air missiles, yet delivers greater range and effect.

Raytheon unveils Peregrine advanced air-to-air missile

Developed to strengthen the capabilities of current fighter aircraft, the new, smaller Peregrine missile is faster and more maneuverable than legacy medium-range, air-to-air missiles, and doubles the weapons loadout on a variety of fighter platforms. Its sophisticated, miniaturized guidance system can detect and track targets at any time of day and in any weather condition.

«Peregrine will allow U.S. and allied fighter pilots to carry more missiles into battle to maintain air dominance», said Doctor Thomas Bussing, Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems vice president. «With its advanced sensor, guidance and propulsion systems packed into a much smaller airframe, this new weapon represents a significant leap forward in air-to-air missile development».

The Peregrine missile benefits from military off-the-shelf components, additive manufacturing processes and readily available materials to offer an affordable solution for countering current and emerging airborne threats.

The Peregrine missile is a small, fast, lightweight air-to-air weapon for use against drones, manned aircraft and cruise missiles. Through the use of additive manufacturing and readily available materials, it effectively doubles the number of missiles current fighter jets can carry, at a significantly lower cost than current weapons.

The new, smaller Peregrine is faster and more maneuverable than legacy medium-range, air-to-air missiles. Its relatively compact airframe, weighing just over 150 pounds/68 kg and is about 6 feet/183 cm long, offers greater flexibility and precision.

Peregrine can seek out and engage targets in spite of bad weather in the battlespace. Its sophisticated sensor, guidance and propulsion systems can detect and track moving or stationary targets at any time of day and in challenging weather conditions.

The system’s compact airframe doubles the weapons loadout on current aircraft, allowing U.S. and allied fighter pilots to carry more missiles into battle to achieve air dominance. It can be easily integrated on today’s fourth- and fifth-generation fighter jets and is compatible with current launch gear.

Air defence solution

MBDA and PGZ have unveiled at MSPO 2019 an air defence solution that features MBDA’s Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM) iLauncher integrated with a Polish Jelcz 8×8 truck chassis.

MBDA, PGZ showcase CAMM air defence solution on Jelcz vehicle

The two parties also re-confirm the will expressed in the Strategic Partnership Agreement for Missile Technology signed 2 February 2017 between PGZ-MBDA for co-operation on missile programmes.

Based around the CAMM family of interceptors, the MBDA proposed co-operation contains a very high level of Polish content and will see extensive transfer of technology and know-how with both the missile and iLauncher being progressively built in Poland. If selected the joint PGZ-MBDA solution offers the best solution for Polish industry and sovereignty.

Sebastian Chwałek, Deputy CEO of PGZ, said: «Implementation of the Narew programme by PGZ is fundamental for our future and the security of Poland. This is why we are demonstrating that there are no limitations for us in foreign co-operation. By joining our competences in communication and command systems, which are key for air defence, with our foreign partners’ missile technologies, we are ready to deliver a final product to the contracting party in a short time».

Jan Grabowski, MBDA’s Delegate in Poland, said: «This further deepening of the relationship between PGZ and MBDA is a great success for European defence co-operation. CAMM provides the Polish military and Polish industry with the best capabilities and technologies available on the world market, and the benefits of a true, European, partnership on missile technologies. Co-operation on CAMM is key to enabling deep co-operation on further missile programmes».

The CAMM family represent the latest generation of air defence technology. Utilising a next-generation active radar seeker and soft-launch technologies, CAMM is able to rapidly defeat large numbers of the most challenging modern air threats and is suitable for both land and maritime applications.

Initial production

The U.S. Navy awarded Raytheon Company a $190 million low-rate initial production contract for Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) Block 2 missiles featuring a new guidance system with a dual mode active and semi-active radar.

The U.S. Navy completed the first successful guided flight test of the ESSM Block 2 intermediate-range, surface-to-air missile on June 12, 2018 (Photo: U.S. Navy)

This award follows the U.S. Navy’s decision to shift from development to production on the enhanced intermediate-range, surface-to-air missile, placing the Block 2 variant on track for initial operating capability in 2020.

The ESSM missile is the primary ship self-defense missile aboard U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and large deck amphibious assault ships. It is an integral component of the U.S. Navy’s layered area and ship self-defense capability for cruisers and destroyers.

«ESSM plays a critical role in protecting navy sailors worldwide and our international partners share our commitment to evolve this missile», said Doctor Mitch Stevison, Raytheon Strategic and Naval Systems vice president.

ESSM is the foundation of several allied navies’ anti-ship missile defense efforts and is operational on almost 200 naval platforms worldwide.

The ESSM program is a cooperative effort managed by a NATO-led consortium comprising 12 nations: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the United States.

Guided Weapon

Thales recently conducted firing trials at Royal Artillery Air Defence Range at Manorbier as part of the Integration testing phase of the Future Anti Surface Guided Weapon (Light) (FASGW(L)) programme.

Procured under the Future Anti Surface Guided Weapon (Light), the Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM) developed by Thales will arm the Royal Navy’s AW-159 Wildcat helicopter with up to four five-round launchers, giving it considerable anti-ship firepower

The FASGW(L) programme includes testing of all parts of the weapon system including the Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM), the launcher system and all key equipment of the Wildcat helicopter.

The LMM, which the Royal Navy will call Martlet when it enters service in 2020, will provide an enhanced level of protection for both service personnel in the Royal Navy and vital assets at sea, such as the Queen Elisabeth Carrier.

The trials consisted of six LMMs being fired from the Thales-designed launcher system at a small boat target at sea at a distance of 4.5kms. All missiles were test rounds with no warhead, but were fitted with telemetry software enabling data to be gathered to analyse the launcher, the guidance system and missile performance.

The FASGW(L) system accurately guided all missiles to the targets and provided extensive data on the excellent performance of all elements of the ground set-up and inflight performance of the missile.

The successful achievement of the ground firings is a major milestone and key to progressing to future testing including air firing trials later in 2019 and culminating in qualification and verification in 2020.

When it enters service in 2020 LMM will give the Wildcat increased protection capability able to address highly mobile maritime threats such as weaponised speed boats and jet skis.

Thales would like to thank the MOD, The Royal Navy, Leonardo and all Thales personnel in achieving this important milestone.

Thales video of the LMM ground firing trials in March from the same launcher and with the same sensor ball that will be used to fire it from Royal Navy Wildcat helicopters

Hypersonic weapon

Building on years of collaboration, Raytheon Company and Northrop Grumman Corporation have signed a teaming agreement to develop, produce and integrate Northrop Grumman’s scramjet combustors to power Raytheon’s air-breathing hypersonic weapons. The teaming agreement uses the combined capabilities of both companies to accelerate development and demonstrate readiness to produce the next generation of tactical missile systems.

Hypersonic vehicles operate at extreme speeds and high altitudes. Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are teaming to accelerate air-breathing hypersonic vehicle development

Scramjet engines use high vehicle speed to forcibly compress incoming air before combustion to enable sustained flight at hypersonic speeds. Such speeds reduce flight times and increase weapon survivability, effectiveness and flexibility.

«The Raytheon/Northrop Grumman team is quickly developing air-breathing hypersonic weapons to keep our nation ahead of the threat», said Doctor Thomas Bussing, Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems vice president. «This agreement combines Raytheon’s decades of tactical missile expertise with Northrop Grumman’s extensive scramjet engine development experience to produce the best possible weapons».

Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are working under a $200 million Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept, or HAWC, program contract to deliver an affordable, effective and producible cruise missile for DARPA and the U.S. Air Force.

«This teaming agreement extends our strong partnership with Raytheon on this critical technology capability. Our deep heritage in propulsion, fuzes and warheads will help accelerate readiness of tomorrow’s missiles to meet range, survivability, safety and lethality requirements», said Mike Kahn, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman’s Defense Systems. «Together with Raytheon, we intend to make great strides toward improving our nation’s high-speed weapon systems, which are critical to enhancing our warfighters’ capabilities for greater standoff and quicker time to target».

Under the agreement, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman will continue to collaborate on HAWC and future air-breathing hypersonic missiles. Both companies are investing in hypersonic technologies and programs to ensure the military has a robust portfolio.

Sensor technology

The successful LRASM sensor program demonstrates BAE Systems’ ability to quickly deliver advanced EW technology to warfighters.

Sensor technology guides next-generation missile to readiness
Sensor technology guides next-generation missile to readiness

BAE Systems worked closely with Lockheed Martin to deliver Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM) to the U.S. Air Force, achieving Early Operational Capability (EOC) for the B-1 B Lancer bomber ahead of schedule. The Air Force accepted delivery of production LRASM units following successful simulation, integration, and flight tests that demonstrated the missile’s mission readiness.

«We’re quickly delivering critical capabilities to warfighters to meet their urgent operational needs», said Bruce Konigsberg, Radio Frequency (RF) Sensors product area director at BAE Systems. «Our sensor systems provide U.S. warfighters with a strike capability that lets them engage protected, high-value maritime targets from safe distances. The missile provides a critical advantage to U.S. warfighters».

BAE Systems’ long-range sensor and targeting technology enables LRASM to detect and engage protected ships in all weather conditions, day or night, without relying on external intelligence and navigation data.

BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin are working closely together to further mature the LRASM technology. The companies recently signed a contract for the production of more than 50 additional sensors and are working to achieve EOC on the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in 2019.

The advanced LRASM sensor technology builds on BAE Systems’ expertise in Electronic Warfare (EW), signal processing, and targeting technologies, and demonstrates the company’s ability to apply its world-class EW technology to small platforms. The successful LRASM sensor program demonstrates the company’s ability to quickly deliver advanced EW technology to warfighters.

As part of the company’s electronic warfare capacity expansion initiatives, it locates key programs where they will be optimally staffed to quickly transition from design to production, accelerate deliveries, and improve product affordability. The company’s work on the LRASM program is conducted at state-of-the-art facilities in Wayne, New Jersey and Nashua, New Hampshire, where it benefits from highly skilled EW engineering and manufacturing workforces.

First firing trial

The Brimstone 3 ultra-high precision missile system has successfully achieved a major milestone by completing its first firing trial at the Vidsel Trials range in Sweden.

The new-build Brimstone missiles will incorporate all of the improved functionalities offered by the spiral upgrades of Brimstone that have taken place over recent years
The new-build Brimstone missiles will incorporate all of the improved functionalities offered by the spiral upgrades of Brimstone that have taken place over recent years

Whilst enduring extreme weather conditions with temperatures below -30°C, the missile was surface launched against a pick-up truck target.

All trials objectives were fully achieved with the missile proving, through a telemetry unit, full closed loop guidance with the seeker progressing into target acquisition and track.

Russell Jamieson, Chief Engineer, said: «The trial further proves Brimstone’s fully flexible platform approach, providing a «one missile, multiple platform» capability, for surface launch, fast jet, Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS), attack helicopter, land and maritime platforms, all utilising the same missile. The result really was a tremendous success, and thanks to the hard work and determination of the whole team».

The demonstrated surface to surface capability builds on the advanced guidance and targeting abilities developed during the Brimstone programme and from hundreds of successful operational firings against targets in structures, main battle tanks/armoured vehicles, maritime vessels, trucks, fast moving and manoeuvring cars/motorbikes and individual targets in the open.

Brimstone 3 is the product of the Brimstone Capability Sustainment Programme (CSP), announced in March 2018, that will provide new Brimstone missiles for the UK Armed Forces in order to replenish the country’s inventory and to maintain the UK’s battlefield edge into the future. It will also provide the ability to fully meet current and future export supply needs.

The new-build Brimstone missiles will incorporate all of the improved functionalities offered by the spiral upgrades of Brimstone that have taken place over recent years which include the highly capable Dual Mode Semi-Active Laser (SAL)/millimetric Wave (mmW) seeker, enhanced autopilot, and the new insensitive munition compliant rocket motor and warhead, all combining to provide unique performance capabilities of Brimstone against the most challenging of targets. The new hardware standard will also enable the addition of further capability upgrades in the future.

Joint Strike Missile

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS (KONGSBERG) has entered into contract with Japan to supply the initial deliveries of JSM (Joint Strike Missile) for their fleet of F-35 Lightning II fighter aircrafts.

KONGSBERG awarded Joint Strike Missile contract with Japan
KONGSBERG awarded Joint Strike Missile contract with Japan

The JSM development started in 2008 and was completed in mid-2018 after a series of successful validation test firings.

«This is an important international breakthrough which demonstrates the importance of cooperation between Norwegian authorities, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment and Norwegian industry», says CEO of KONGSBERG Geir Håøy.

The JSM is the only long-range sea- and land-target missile that can be carried internally in the F-35 Lightning II and thus ensuring the aircraft’s low-signature (stealth) capabilities. JSM is a new missile that will expand the overall capabilities of the F-35 Lightning II. No other weapon on the market today, can perform the same types of missions.

«The international F-35 Lightning II user consortium is showing great interest in the JSM and KONGSBERG is very proud to have been selected by Japan to provide the JSM for their F-35 Lightning II fleet. This is a major milestone for the JSM program, entering into the production phase», says Eirik Lie, President, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS.

Air-launched missile

Northrop Grumman Corporation has received a $322.5 million contract from the U.S. Navy for the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) program.

Northrop Grumman received a contract from the U.S. Navy, valued at $322.5M, for Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD)
Northrop Grumman received a contract from the U.S. Navy, valued at $322.5M, for Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD)

The AARGM-ER program is leveraging the AARGM that is currently in production. The AARGM-ER will be integrated on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft and configured for internal carriage on the F-35 Lightning II.

«AARGM-ER extended range coupled with AARGM lethality will meet a critical defense suppression requirement while protecting our strike aviators», said Cary Ralston, vice president, defense electronic systems, Northrop Grumman.

AARGM is an air-launched missile with the capability to rapidly engage air-defense threats. AARGM is currently deployed with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps on the F/A-18C/D Hornet, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft. AARGM is also integrated on the Italian Air Force’s Tornado Electronic Combat aircraft.